Most of us know the benefits of meditation, but can’t seem to find the time. For years, my daily practice included both journaling and seated meditation. Sometime during the past decade, both dropped out of my daily routine, and try as I occasionally do to take these helpful practices back up, I don’t seem to be able to access the state of mind which once supported them easily.
The creation of art provides another way into the meditative state.
This is not a new concept, art has traditionally been an integral part of spiritual paths the world over. Art helps us tap into a deeper and more quiet part of ourselves, allowing us to enter a state of focus and flow. I found my way into this through Expressive Art classes offered at the UCSD Cancer Center designed to help cancer patients better cope with anxiety, pain, and fatigue. This is where I first encountered the Zentangle® art form…
The Zentangle Method is designed to not only create beautiful art using structured patterns, but also as a way into a meditative state of relaxed focus where intuitive insights can surface, along with a sense of well-being and timelessness. Meditation and creation.
While I don’t always conform to the Zentangle guidelines, I am endlessly fascinated by the variety of this art’s non-verbal language of patterns. And from the fascination, I feel compelled to find ways to represent the unseen in my art, the underpinnings of the Universe, that which provides the hidden framework for all that we can physically see.
Thomas Merton said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” I found I have the capability of losing myself in this meditative process on a very regular basis. There is an alluring element of the siren’s song, calling me to keep trying to express visually what I cannot see. So, on my best days I do art, and that’s precisely what makes them the best days.
My commitment to art and to my artistic development includes a certain amount of journaling too. I’m attempting to write a journal entry/blog post every week, like this one. Not so easy! Even now, while blogging, there is this part of me, chirping like a little birdie, reminding me that I could be doing the art instead. So, enough blogging for now, I’m listening to the bird… singing its sweet song about meditation and creation…
For more information on Zentangle® please visit www.Zentangle.com
I'm learning more about my art, and from my art, every day. It's not so much a matter of skill or practice... mostly it's a shift in perspective, a way of shaping how I look at and exist in the world.
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